Operating locally is the best way to run the world according to Parag Khanna, author of How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance.
Khanna spoke at Idea Festival on Wednesday, informing the audience of events happening on a global stage that all point towards operations becoming more localized. He said that chain
reactions become apparent if you study things from a global viewpoint, citing the Japanese earthquake and nuclear meltdown, a Taiwan food venodr lighting himself on fire, and NATO invading Libya.
He believes that there is a lot of structural change going on. The world has shifted from one or two super powers to more. Khanna also believes that those super powers are fragmenting. He says a Palestinian state is inevitable because bigger European powers have been fragmenting, and states are being formed around races.
Khanna said that countries are experiencing upheaval because of three generations of decay. No new investments have been poured into the infrastructure in many countries once occupied by
large empires since the end of WWII, so schools, railroads, and other infrastructures are falling apart as the population has tripled. He was talking about European countries, but I feel parts of our own country is suffering some of the same troubles.
"You're currently witnessing 8 - 10 countries falling apart," he said, "but at least 80 countries look the same."
Khanna used the analogy of a marathon to bringing more democracy and healthier politics to many European, middle eastern countries and said we are only at mile 2 of 26. He believes we are in for a decade of transformation that isn't necessarily a bad thing.
In the midst of what he calls a complex intellectual landscape, Khanna believes positive transformation begins in the hands of people, organizations, and corporations. He said that occupying forces trying to instill democracy are not making much progress. He said non-profits are actually making more progress. According to his lecture, we make a mistake in believing democracy solves all problems. Billions of dollars have been poured into things that have failed, but those failed initiatives have been justified by being democratic. He said that what is really needed is accountability. To show two extremes of the effect of corporations or non-govvernment entities on the world, he pointed out that the Gates Foundation pours more money into helping the world and climate control than government, and that Wal-mart has a greater volume of greenhouse emissions coming from its factories than the entire country of Ireland.
He suggests that we turn our current model for change on its head. We can no longer wait on government; anyone who wants to be part of a solution should be allowed to help
"Impatience is a virtue," he said.
Here is a video of Khanna discussing "mega-diplomacy"